It is common practice for content marketers to 'Newsjack' current events and trending topics through their blogs, Tweets and shares. A great example is the foray of brands that have hijacked the FIFA World Cup of Soccer; 672 million Tweets!
Here is another example of the world cup's popularity on Social Media, with Marketing Land suggesting it broke records of engagement on Facebook;
The soccer world cup has well and truly been hijacked by social media.
Some see 'Newsjacking' as devious, but PR agencies have been doing it for a lot longer than bloggers and it works. By piggybacking a current trend your content will attract a group of people that it would have never reached organically. But I encourage this practice with the greatest of caution.
Newsjacking is a tactic, but never use it to trick or deceive your consumers. You will lose their trust. [Click to Tweet]
If you decide to use such a tactic, be prepared for a backlash. Trending events are trending for a reason. If you don't want your brand to be associated with the highs and lows of a current trend, or to deal with the inevitable dichotomy of opinions that surface from such a big event then I would stay well away from them.
If you've never done it before, here is a blog post on Newsjacking 101.
If you missed the chance to leverage the Soccer World Cup through your content marketing, or you did it with great success. Here are five events that are bound to trend in the back half of 2014. I've provided a brief description of each, as well as links and hashtags that may be useful to you if you're interested in leveraging their profile. Start thinking about how you can adapt the components of these events to the challenges your customers (or followers) face on a daily basis.
1.Tour de France
The Tour de France is the world's biggest multi-stage cycle event, held annually across France and its neighbouring countries. The event has been running for over 100 years and is the ultimate test of stamina and mental toughness.
Newsjack Deadline: July 27th (Hurry this one ends in a couple of weeks!)
Facebook Page - 1.5M Likes
Google + Page - 468K Followers
Twitter Handle: @letour - 580K Followers
2.Commonwealth Games (Glasgow 2014)
The Commonwealth Games is a sporting event involving athletes from all nations within the commonwealth. It is competed across sports from swimming to archery and is being held in Scotland in 2014.
Newsjack Deadline: August 3rd
Facebook Page - 210K Likes
Google + Page - 21K Followers
Twitter Handle: @thecgf - 20K Followers
3.V Festival (UK)
V Festival is a UK music event held annually in two parks simultaneously with the same artists. In 2014 it boasts artists such as Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, The Killers and Lily Allen!
Newsjack Deadline: August 17th
Facebook Page - 428K Likes
Google + Page - 375 Followers
Twitter Handle: @vfestival - 174K Followers
4.La Tomatina Festival
The La Tomatina Festival is held in Spain annually, and involves participants throwing tomatoes at each other for fun! Check out latomatina.org for some great videos you may like to use in your content marketing.
Newsjack Deadline: August 27th
Twitter Handle: @LaTomatinaInfo (May not be the official handle)
Oktoberfest is an enormous funfair held in Germany every year. Over 6 million people attend from all over the world!
Newsjack Deadline: October 5th
Before you start writing your next blog post on one of these events you should know that Newsjacking can be controversial. You first must understand exactly what you are trying to achieve by doing it. For example, if you think a particular event will help you better reach your consumer and by reaching them genuinely add value to their life, then do it. But if you are looking for a quick win, a couple of likes or a few new followers by tricking people into reading your content, maybe it's time you went back to WHY you are producing content in the first place. Is it to surprise, delight and reward your customers? Or is it to 'trick' them into reading what you have to say so you can sell them something? Think about it, and use these events as you wish.
But if you trick or deceive your consumers into reading something they don't value you may lose their trust forever. [Click to Tweet]
Share some other great events you plan on hijacking in the comments below!